Rob Fleming, Minister of Education.Image Indo-Canadian

Parents in Kelowna and Kamloops are encouraged to attend upcoming education sessions in their communities as part of B.C.’s school-based gang prevention initiative.

“These sessions are focused on raising awareness of local risks and giving parents the tools and supports they need to keep their children out of gang life,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Training opportunities like these can help parents ensure their kids get the support they need earlier, so they can continue to work together toward positive futures.”

The upcoming parent education session in Kamloops will be offered Tuesday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. at Henry Grube Education Centre, located at 245 Kitchener Cres., Kamloops. No registration is required. Sessions run approximately 90 minutes.

The upcoming parent education session in Kelowna will be offered April 2, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hollywood Road Education Centre, Room 1. The centre is located at 1040 Hollywood Rd. South, Kelowna. No registration is required.

“Prevention and intervention involves everyone, and parents can play an important role in keeping young people out of gangs,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “Sessions like this can dispel myths and help parents recognize the signs of at-risk behaviours, so they can help keep their kids on a positive path.”

The gang prevention program provides education and training opportunities for students, parents, educators, law enforcement officials and representatives of community-based organizations. The Province is investing $4.93 million over the next three years to provide gang prevention and awareness training programs in 16 communities throughout British Columbia. This builds on an initial $1.12-million investment that has had more than 8,000 students, parents, educators and community partners participate in 110 training and education sessions.

Alison Sidow

Alison Sidow, superintendent, Kamloops-Thompson school district has said that In partnership with parents, our district plays a critical role in educating young people about healthy choices. The world is complex and we all have a responsibility to ensure our youth are equipped with the information they need to critically think about how their decisions affect their futures.”

Parents will leave these sessions with a greater understanding of what they can do to prevent their child from getting involved in gang activity. Topics will include:

  • an overview of the current B.C. gang landscape;
  • information on how gang members are recruiting using social media; and
  • what attracts children and youth to the gang lifestyle.

Presenters will also discuss what gang membership entails and dispel some of the myths and realities of gang membership, as well as offer warning signs and steps to take if you think your child is involved in gang activity.